When & How of 2024 CFA® Exam Women's Scholarship

CFA exam / Scholarships / Women's Scholarship

CFA Exam & Women's Scholarship: When to Apply

CFA Institute Scholarships for Women

The new 2024 CFA exam Women’s Scholarship reduces the total exam registration cost to USD 400 (it used to be USD 350 total) and waives the enrollment fee. There are 2 scholarship application windows available for women per year. The scholarship is dedicated to all women willing to participate in CFA Program worldwide but ineligible for Access Scholarship.

Read on to find out about when and how to apply for Women’s Scholarships and go to your CFA Institute account to see if you can apply now.

2024 CFA Exam Women’s Scholarship Dates

8 Oct 2023 is the 1st application deadline (whole application window:
1 Sept – 8 Oct 2023).
You can expect a decision no later than 8 Dec 2023.

8 Feb 2024 is the 2nd application deadline (whole application window:
9 Jan – 8 Feb 2024).
You can expect a decision no later than 29 March 2024.

The deadlines end at midnight ET!

Women’s Scholarships are offered to women interested in the CFA exam and ineligible for other CFA Institute scholarships. The scholarships aim at promoting broader participation of women in the CFA Program.

Currently, the Women’s Scholarships are awarded on a “rolling” basis, which means that there’s no one fixed deadline. Instead, short application windows are available and the applications are reviewed by CFA Institute periodically.

For the Women’s Scholarship program year that starts on 1 Sept 2023 and ends on 31 Aug 2024, there are 2 application windows. The first application window is from 1 Sept to 8 Oct 2023 and the dates of the second application window are from 9 Jan to 8 Feb 2024.

Those of you who apply from 1 Sept to 8 Oct should receive your scholarship award decision by 8 Dec 2023, so just in time for the MAY 2024 CFA exam. Those who choose the 9 Jan – 8 Feb 2024 window will get their decision no later than 29 March 2024. So, you'll be up for the AUG 2024 CFA exam or NOV 2024 CFA exam (plus some 2025 CFA exams).

If you are awarded the scholarship, you'll have a few CFA exam offerings to choose from. Your scholarship award expiration date should be given in the email that you'll get from CFA Institute. Read the email carefully and always stick to the deadline to use your waived enrollment fee and discounted registration fee. Most likely, you'll be able to use your scholarship for 12 months from the positive decision, which means that more than 4 CFA exam offerings/windows may be available to you. If you fail to use your scholarship, you may be ineligible in the future for any scholarships granted by CFA Institute.

CFA Exam & Women's Scholarship: How to Apply

How to Apply for a Women’s Scholarship?

To apply for the Women’s Scholarship, CFA candidates need to:

  1. Set up an account at CFA Institute's website.
  2. Fill in the online application form and write an essay.
  3. Submit the application before the deadline.
  4. Then, wait for the scholarship decision.
  5. If it's positive, register for the exam using the discounted fee.

Here's the whole CFA exam scholarship application process step by step:

register with CFA Institute apply wait for the scholarship register for your exam & make the reduced payment

To apply for your CFA exam Women’s Scholarship, you need to be a woman interested in the CFA exam, NOT registered for your exam yet, and probably not qualifying for any other CFA exam scholarship, e.g. Access Scholarship.

First, you need to apply and wait for the scholarship award. Only then should you register and pay for your exam. The reduced CFA exam registration fee is USD 400 if you’re selected for the scholarship (plus the enrollment fee is waived). Best allow two business days from the date of your scholarship award email before registering for the exam to ensure that the discounted price is reflected during checkout. No refunds are available if you register and pay for your exam the unreduced amount.

If your scholarship application is rejected, you're entitled to a registration fee discount, which is equal to the early-bird CFA exam fee of USD 940 in 2024.

Women's Scholarship Essay: What to Write?

When filling in the online application form for your CFA exam Women’s Scholarship, you will be asked to write why you’d like to get it. What you write in your essay may affect CFA Institute’s decision.

As a rule, the more personal it gets, the better. Share your personal story from the angle that shows your dedication to getting the CFA charter. A few basics you will definitely want to include in your application are: your interest in finance, work in the field (what do you do in your job? why do you like it? are you dedicated to going down this path? what kind of future do you see for yourself in the world of finance?) or your achievements, especially if they make you stand out from your peers.

How to write a Women’s Scholarship essay:

  1. Explain your dedication to a career in finance.
  2. Stress your achievements.
  3. Disclose any obstacles that count.
  4. Why CFA charter?
  5. Give it a personal touch.

Here's an example of an essay that you may use as a reference when applying for your Women’s Scholarship:

CFA Exam Women’s Scholarship Essay Sample

I am applying for the CFA® Program Women’s Scholarship because I think I am a suitable candidate that can put your support to good use. Recently, I graduated with distinction from University, where I studied finance and strategic business management. My ambition is to become a risk manager, even though this profession is still underrepresented by women.

The CFA exam is the next natural step on the career path I pursue. The CFA Program curriculum has everything I need to learn in detail before I enter the world of finance, from investment assets and tools to management to ethics. The emphasis that CFA Institute puts on the code of ethics and professional standards is something that aligns with my personal values. I truly believe that you should deeply care about how your professional decisions may influence your clients, colleagues, and the whole industry if you work in finance. I feel it is so true especially if you want to work in the risk management sector.

Apart from financial knowledge, a good risk manager is also obliged to have a thorough understanding of legal regulations. My character always tells me to accept nothing short of good. That is why I have lately enrolled in a course on the law in finance to acquire some new skills and abilities.

I am fond of learning new things and finding solutions to problems. That is why the CFA exam is a challenge that I will gladly accept. I am ready to devote the recommended 300 hours of preparation to succeed in my CFA exam.

Thank you for the opportunity to apply that CFA Institute provides to women. If I am awarded the scholarship, I will be happy to further pursue my dreams in finance without obstacles.

Insert the full name of the university/college/school you attended.

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Short Application Windows!

Ever since CFA Institute introduced the CFA exam Women’s Scholarships back in 2017, the interest in the scholarships for women has been intense. Actually, in the beginning, it was greater than expected so the application period was always closed prior to the set deadline. It surely didn't help that the scholarships were limited in number and served on a first-come, first-served basis.

Now, with more than one application window open for the women willing to participate in the CFA Program, there's hope that it'll be easier for you to obtain your Women's Scholarship. Remember though that the application windows are quite short.

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UPDATED: Feb 28, 2024